Find a story by asking "really stupid questions"

What stories appeal to you? Stories about the forgotten, the forgotten, the underestimated. Where do you get your ideas from? I start ...


What stories appeal to you?

Stories about the forgotten, the forgotten, the underestimated.

Where do you get your ideas from?

I start with questions – often really stupid questions – and then ask a bunch of people for answers. From there, a story emerges.

You have reported around the world. Is there a reporting trip that you remember very well?

Each trip teaches you something about this place, but also about your own country and yourself. I have covered 10 wars, from Sri Lanka to Liberia to Syria. I’ve always tried to tell the stories of war not through warriors, but through civilians – people like me – because in these extreme conditions you see both how brutal human beings are and how brutal they are. also of what courage. I can’t help but wonder who I may have been under these circumstances.

How did your daily routine change during the pandemic?

Because I have an overall rhythm, I have strange and unpredictable hours. Some weeks I can get up at dawn to interview sources in Europe, and maybe the following week I make evening calls in Asia. That, combined with working from home, means I have to take time. I have to punctuate my days, and it’s the only thing that forces me to organize my time to take care of my child. In the morning, I try to set aside five to ten minutes for meditation. (I have a teenager and I cover climate change. Need I say more?) I save my first evenings to spend uninterrupted, device-free time with my child. During the first few months of the pandemic, while she was studying remotely and staring at her screen for absolutely everything, I cleaned up my patio for a 30 minute aimless walk with her every day after school. Cooking too. I prepare three meals for us. It punctuates my days.

How to decompress and relax?

Hobby? You mean like sleeping? Or help with algebra homework? I played several instruments as a kid – I was considering majoring in music in college – so I fantasized about returning to music. Probably not the bassoon. My neighbors probably wouldn’t want that. The teenager usually dictates my screen time. (We’ve watched “Never Have I Ever” a billion times.) As for the books, I have NK Jemison and Rebecca Solnit on my nightstand right now, and a book called “Donut Economics” that I have. read with colleagues. My outcome is working. I pester my friends to walk with me, and when we can’t see each other in person, we schedule Zoom conversations with wine. I call her Zwine with Somini.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Find a story by asking "really stupid questions"
Find a story by asking "really stupid questions"
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